March 6, 2009

Food d'Amore

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I come from a meat and potatoes family. I wasn't very adventurous about food until I was well into my 20's. I was raised on fried chicken, meatloaf, mash potatoes, green beans, your standard plain country food which was cooked two ways -- fried and boiled. My mom kept a coffee can of bacon grease on the counter if that gives you any indication.

My pre-college boyfriend introduced me to the wonders of steamed broccoli. While now that seems a strange thing to consider new and unusual, at the time it was not a "normal" food. I fell madly and deeply in love with the broccoli. Also with the boyfriend, although my romance with broccoli lasted far longer. (This was also the year I learned about how potatoes can sometimes explode in your oven if you don't prepare them properly for cooking.)

My college boyfriend introduced me to the wonders of moo shu pork and crab rangoon (neither of which I'd ever heard of and neither of which could be procured in the small town in which I grew up). And while his boyish charm and the mysteries of the East lured me for a while, they could not hold me forever.

My post-college boyfriend (okay, yes... I am a serial monogamist) introduced me to a smorgasbord of vegetables. He was a pescetarian (a vegetarian who eats fish) with an adventurous palate, a love for protein shots and, unfortunately, a very annoying habit of telling other people what they should eat. Specifically, as opposed to in a general advisory manner. For example, ORDERING FOR THEM IN RESTAURANTS. But that's another whole story. From this unique human I found my fondness for parsnips, marinated artichoke hearts and the occasional brussels sprout. Oh, and I can't forget chocolate, peanut butter and banana smoothies with organic whey or energy protein powder. (It's really not as gross as it sounds.)

After a while, the novelty of "crazy genius" begins to wear thin, as does the weirdness of not being able to pick your own food and so I was single again.

My husband helped me conjure the courage to try cottage cheese and with remorse I think of all the years I could have been eating that wonderfood and didn't. He showed me the divine miracle of whole artichokes. He is the one who masterfully duplicates recipes that we fall in love with at various restaurants. He fearlessly tackles nearly any type of recipe not matter how involved and intimidating it seems to me. He has documented recipes from my mom despite how they sometimes fight like cats and dogs just so those recipes will never be lost. He has convinced me that "we don't need no steenkeeng restaurants!" And has, in fact, ruined me for many restaurants because I love his food so much.

And did I mention he's also cured me of my chronic serial monogamy?

Do you have any good stories about new foods you've discovered later in life? What is your favorite unfamiliar food?


  1. I'm a freak for liver..pork liver (Braunsweiger) is my FAVORITE. Idk how unusual that is but my friends always look at me funny LOL

  2. Pot roast is my favorite because I can actually make it, and I'm a terrible cook.

    Here's a me-proof recipe. You'll need a speckled pan to make it (an oval tinnish pan with a domed lid, about $1.99 at Target). Pour one pouch of Lipton onion soup mix in bottom of speckled pan. Put a roast on top of it. Pour another pouch of onion soup mix on top of the roast. Put lid on pot. Put pot in oven at 290 F for about 4 hours.

    It's amazingly good and you'll look like a real gourmet.

  3. @Kathy, say it ain't so!!

    @Lawyer Mom, I have never made a pot roast, but I love them! You don't put any water in there at all??

    I used to make kind of a roast-like thing in the slow cooker. A big ole hunk o'meat with potatoes, carrots, onions and some beef broth, but my husband eats all the meat out of it and then we're left with a bunch of veggies that I don't know what to do with it, so I stopped making it. :) I guess I should have turned the leftovers into a veggie beef stew or something.

  4. lol! Lipton Onion Soup mix is the go-to ingredient for everything! I use it for my pot roast, meatloaf, etc.

    I recently discovered Brussel sprouts because my kids are tired of spinach and broccoli. The brussel sprout adventure is on my blog from last week!

    Anyone have any new ideas for dinner this week?


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